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There is no excuse for thin horses!

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  • mental illness: horse forum
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    04-11-2010, 10:48 AM
  #21
Showing
I have a 22yr old gelding. People told me he looked like a 5yr old and could not believe he was 20. He was just in such good condition. Muscular, great weight, good teeth, healthy coat. Then his friend foundered and we had to get a new horse. We ended up getting a mini mare, who we rescued from being tied to this one post her entire life. It was sickening. She had halter marks digging into her face where her foal halter had dug into her now grown face. Anyway, my gelding hated her but at least it was something. He wasn't alone anymore. Then we got a Paint Clydesdale gelding and a pony stallion. NOW my gelding, Arthur, suddenly liked this mare. He has always been dominant so he took to herding her around incessantly! He lost a ton of weight. A lot. He was ribby, his muscling declined..... I mean, none of our horses have ever been thin. They've always been a little tubby or perfect weight. So I guess it wasn't that bad, we were just a little paranoid. So we went to equine nutrition seminars galore......trying to find something that would work. I posted on many horse forums (not this one, I didn't know of this one yet) and finally got something that said to use beet pulp. I did that loyally for a few weeks. He started to get better, but I wasn't going to have him on beet pulp his entire life, so at one seminar I brought a notepad and I filled 30 pages of notes. I finally found the perfect diet. Granted, it's 2 whole feed scoops of food, but that's what he needs. Plus, the food is engineered so he won't colic from a lot of feed. It's 1 1/2 scoops of Nutrena Equine Senior. And 1/2 scoop of crimped oats. And a serving of senior vitamins. Now he looks like that 5yr old again
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    04-11-2010, 11:07 AM
  #22
Weanling
Thats the same 'recipe' I used with my old guy... works great!
     
    04-11-2010, 02:15 PM
  #23
Banned
Qthorsecrazy, not all HARD KEEPER TB's are as ahrd as others. While yours may have been easier, some ARE hard.
     
    04-11-2010, 02:31 PM
  #24
Yearling
I agree. Of course if your horse is a little bit on the skinny side you're going to feed more but if you are not getting any results obviusly just feeding it more isn't going to do anything.

People that "care" so much about their horse and want it be fattened up need to go to the vet about it not just think that feeding it more will help and if it does then it does.
But if it doesn't then you need the vet.
     
    04-11-2010, 02:36 PM
  #25
Foal
This is a really interesting thread and there are some great points being made here.

I've had a fair amount of experience with starving horses as my mum and aunty used to run an animal rescue centre.

We took in two horses that were just skin stretched over bone - they literally had what looked like a shelf between their spines and the top of their ribs.
The one mare was a TB and I'm not sure what the other was. We put them on a feed called Equilibra which worked absolute wonders for them. Within about 12 weeks they looked pretty much back to normal. The feed manufacturer used their before and after photos in an advert.

I appreciate that a lot of horses are harder to keep covered than others, but going back quite a while ago, I started riding a TB x who would have been about 19 or 20. For the first year that I rode her, my mum and I looked after her all winter and fed her, changed rugs etc etc. I made sure she had loads of hay and always had a good feed in the evening. Someone on the yard remarked that they never saw her looking so good.

The following year, the person who owned her told me the horse had not kept her weight so well last year (What???) and took over feeding her that winter. Well, the weight just fell off her. It was terribly distressing to see her going downhill so much. The fact that the owner wouldn't let me rug her either didn't help. So once again, I got some Equilbra and started feeding her in secret. Not the best scenario in the world but the owner was just such a complete know it all that there was no point speaking to her and I worried if I said anything, she would stop me seeing the horse altogether and then she would get even thinner.

Anyway, to get back to the point, in a lot of cases, there is no excuse for skinny horses.
     
    04-11-2010, 04:58 PM
  #26
Trained
Quote:
MIEventer ~ Nelson looks great! I hadn't seen recent photos of him. I wouldn't consider him underweight at this point at all. He still has some rebuilding of the lost muscle to do along his topline, but that has nothing to do with feeding and just takes time with a recovering horse. I'm impressed with how good he looks right now!
Thanks Indy! Nelson was alot of work, but we're getting there! The conditoining part, absolutely. He lost alot of EVERYTHING due to January, so it has been a daily process to get that muscle back.

He's always had a topline difficult to build. I've done so much long and low with him, so much to the point now, that's all he wants to do. Now that the snow is gone, we do alot of hacking out in the large pastures and are now just incorporating trot and canter segments in our daily eventing exercise program.
     
    04-11-2010, 06:39 PM
  #27
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderhooves    
qthorsecrazy, not all HARD KEEPER TB's are as ahrd as others. While yours may have been easier, some ARE hard.
exactly.
     
    04-11-2010, 07:13 PM
  #28
Trained
I think you're being a little harsh and there are circumstances which lead to skinny horses even with the owner doing everything they can.

We had a TWH gelding that we bought when he was a weanling. He was a walking skeleton, apparently the breeder ran out of money and stopped feeding the horses. When my parents bought him they had the vet out and poured money into this horse. He got better and grew up but he always had health problems and always lost weight in the winter, no matter what we were feeding him. And yes we had the vet out about it and talked to lots of "knowledgeble" people about it.

The last two years of his life (especially the last one) he was really thin and even worse in the winter. He wouldn't eat enough food to keep the weight on. We had the vet out to float his teeth and check him out. Nothing that they could see caused his problems. We finally put him down two falls ago when he was 27 because I didn't think we could get him comfortably through another winter.

He was dying plain and simple. Same thing my old cat did. There are some diseases that end with the animals extremely emaciated. Have you ever watched a person die after a long drawn out illness? They are almost always a rack of bones. After he died I spoke with some of my professors about his condition and the difficulty keeping weight on him and they thought that it stemmed from being starved so severly when he was younger. A combo of some actual damage to his system and his mental "full point" being drastically lowered due to the starvation in his younger years.
     
    04-11-2010, 07:23 PM
  #29
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    
I think you're being a little harsh and there are circumstances which lead to skinny horses even with the owner doing everything they can.

We had a TWH gelding that we bought when he was a weanling. He was a walking skeleton, apparently the breeder ran out of money and stopped feeding the horses. When my parents bought him they had the vet out and poured money into this horse. He got better and grew up but he always had health problems and always lost weight in the winter, no matter what we were feeding him. And yes we had the vet out about it and talked to lots of "knowledgeble" people about it.

The last two years of his life (especially the last one) he was really thin and even worse in the winter. He wouldn't eat enough food to keep the weight on. We had the vet out to float his teeth and check him out. Nothing that they could see caused his problems. We finally put him down two falls ago when he was 27 because I didn't think we could get him comfortably through another winter.

He was dying plain and simple. Same thing my old cat did. There are some diseases that end with the animals extremely emaciated. Have you ever watched a person die after a long drawn out illness? They are almost always a rack of bones. After he died I spoke with some of my professors about his condition and the difficulty keeping weight on him and they thought that it stemmed from being starved so severly when he was younger. A combo of some actual damage to his system and his mental "full point" being drastically lowered due to the starvation in his younger years.
I do somewhat I agree with this.

Yes there are cases where the horse is just too old and just loses so much weight it is just unbearable to look at and to control.

Although I agree with the fact that there is no excuse for a thin horse, I also agree that being old is the only exception.
     
    04-11-2010, 07:27 PM
  #30
Trained
Being old isn't an excuse.

Dying is.
     

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